Following the fire along the Gila River this past summer, local leaders and community members began looking at ways to further protect the town from fire and create a recreational area that would be good for both residents and visitors to the area. Last week Chingwen Cheng and her students hosted a design project facilitation at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Kearny.
Cheng is the Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. She explained that local resident Gerry Kaufhold contacted the school to see how they school could help local leaders develop a plan for the river area that would protect the town from fires and other natural disasters as well as create more recreational areas along the river.
The afternoon facilitation included using various activities from dropping candle wax on maps of the area where locals felt needed more fire prevention, planning of recreational green belts using tiles and painting. Each station allowed the participants to work as group to provide input for the students of the Herberger school. The students will then analyze the public participation process, layer that with their knowledge and present plans and ideas for what can be done in the areas along the Gila River.